Rural business funding available

Rural business funding available

Significant grant funding for local rural businesses – available now!

Tewkesbury Borough Council is keen to support the efforts of the LEADER programme as they call out for new applications for the programme’s rural business grants.

Capital investment grants of up to £100,000 (up to 40% of total costs) are available now for micro/small businesses, farmers/foresters, growers, community groups and other organisations that can demonstrate a benefit to the local rural economy. To be successful, applications must contribute to the creation of jobs or the development of businesses in the Tewkesbury Borough LEADER rural area.

The programme is open for applications for projects which meet its key investment priorities. These are farm productivity; business support/farm diversification; tourism; culture and heritage and forestry productivity. LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER programme has already allocated £370k of grant funding to 17 businesses across the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough. The most recent example of grants awarded is for Café au Chocolat in Tewkesbury. Café au Chocolat was awarded £9,467 (40%) towards the capital costs associated with a new artisan chocolate production and retail service. The new service is scheduled to commence in November 2017, and will result in 3 new jobs.

The LEADER programme is now looking for further applications. Funding is available on a first come first served basis with the majority of funds expected to be allocated soon. The next deadline for expressions of interest is 10am on October 9th 2017, with ever decreasing amounts of funding available.

Councillor Rob Bird ,Tewkesbury Borough portfolio holder for economic development, added "This is a 'once only' opportunity for local rural businesses to get financial support with expansion projects, but the time-frame is very short, and the total funding available is limited, so I urge anyone with business development plans to act now and contact us"

If you are thinking of applying to the LEADER programme, please contact Neil Batt, Programme Manager, as soon as possible on neil.batt@fdean.gov.uk or 01594 812608 to avoid missing out. Further details and application forms are also available on the website www.forestandtewksleader.co.uk